A place worth caring about

I cycle past this stretch of road almost every day. Typical of some of bad planning round these parts. We have some expensively assembled footpaths, trees planted, and benches..all remaining totally unvisited. At the same time these walkways stretch out alongside rows of derelict buildings and vacant business units. There’s another public space round the corner, the junction where Castlereagh road meets Templemore Avenue and the Ravenhill Road…there’s some seating and pretty paving right in the middle of the junction, like a traffic island. And now both these new developments look increasingly sorry for themselves – its not from over-use. There are probably numerous examples near where you live.

Why are so bad here at creating public spaces? Money has been squandered on these projects from Government budgets whose enforced cuts will affect us all.

James Kunstler on ted.com delivers a great lecture on suburbia and civic life in cities, pointing out how the US is particularly bad at this, and gives other examples of healthy civic spaces in countries like France. He argues we have created too many public spaces that we don’t think are worth caring.

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About Jonny
Brought up in Ards, currently residing in East Belfast. Married to Lisa. We also have a dog and a cat.

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